Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) is in early talks to direct a film version of Little House on the Prairie for Sony Pictures with Scott Rudin (Inside Llewyn Davis) attached to produce, according to an exclusive broken by The Hollywood Reporter. Originally a series of children’s stories written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the material was first adapted into the classic family drama series which starred Michael Landon and Melissa Gibert. The NBC television show was so popular it ran for nine seasons from 1974-1983, chronicling the adventures–based on Wilder’s real life childhood– of a frontier family living in the American West during the 19th Century.
The series was popular with school-aged children well before becoming an iconic television series. Rudin has been involved with getting a film version of Little House on the Prairie off the ground for some time now, and Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) has written a screenplay. A few years back it looked like director David Gordon Green was going to sign on to direct.
If Green, a filmmaker who has previously directed experimental art films like George Washington, Prince Avalanche and Undertow as well big, broad R-rated comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness seemed like an odd fit for the wholesome, family-friendly, G-rated Little House, consider Durkin. Durkin has one previous feature film on his resumé– the well-received Sundance creeper Martha Marcy May Marlene. That film revolved around a young woman (in what would be a breakout for star Elizabeth Olsen) trying to re-assimilate into normal society after being seduced by dangerous cult. The film earned Durkin the Directors Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Aside from Martha Marcy May Marlene, Durkin directed all four episodes of the acclaimed television mini-series Southcliffe, and has for some time now been attached to direct a biopic of Janis Joplin. Sony hasn’t officially made comment of Durkin being in the running for a Little House big screen adaptation and there is no word as of yet on potential casting or filming timelines.